Monday, April 15, 2024

Former Houston Rockets player Robert Reid dies at 68

The Houston Rockets announced Tuesday afternoon that former NBA player Robert Reid died at 68. Reid was a 13-year NBA veteran, 10 of which he spent with the Rockets. Reid was drafted in 1977 in the second round by Houston after playing four years of collegiate ball at St. Mary’s University.

After Reid’s first five years in the league, he announced his retirement due to religious reasons, but after taking a year away to devote more time to his Pentecostal faith, Reid returned to the Rockets and played eight more years in the league. During his time with the Rockets, he was a key piece in Houston’s many postseason runs.

Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta released the following statement on Reid’s passing:

“It is with great sorrow that my family and I received the news of the passing of Rockets legend, Robert Reid. I have had the privilege of knowing Robert for over 40 years, and his presence always brought joy and positivity to any room he entered. I will never forget watching the Rockets teams he was a part of in the 80s compete in the Finals and the love he had for the game. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Diana, and all those who held him dear. Robert’s absence will be deeply felt, and he will be fondly remembered.”

During the 1980-81 season, Reid was the third leading scorer behind Hall of Famers Moses Malone and Calvin Murphy, averaging nearly 16 points a game. Despite finishing with a 40-42 record, the Rockets made a surprising run to the NBA Finals that year before falling to the Boston Celtics, and Reid was a key piece in that postseason success. 

Three years later, Reid, Hakeem Olajuwon, and the Rockets again found themselves in the NBA Finals after getting past Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Lakers in the Western Conference finals during the 1985-86 season. They met the Celtics in the NBA Finals again and lost once more.

After 10 years with the Rockets, Reid was traded to the Charlotte Hornets, where he spent a season and a half, then he played with the Portland Trail Blazers for a year before ending his career with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1991.

Reid ranks in the top 10 of many categories in the Rockets record books, including games played (4th), steals (5th), points and rebounds (8th), blocks (9th), and assists (10th). He played a significant role in the Rockets’ first two NBA Finals appearances and helped lay the groundwork for the franchise’s two championships that followed in the ’90s.

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